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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Rest: It’s yours for the taking

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There is no doubt, 2020 has been a year to remember. Some of those memories are good and we want to hold on to them. Some of those memories never have to surface again, and if we could discard them for eternity, we would. All is fair.

The blessing is that 2020 is not yet over. Sure, there are people who will say they want it to be because it’s been one thing after the next, and it hasn’t been positive. And yet there are others who are grateful for seven weeks we have left.

If you’ve kept up with my Recorder columns, you know that if it’s my turn to write when the end of the year nears, I’m going to remind you to give it all you’ve got to finish the year. Notice I didn’t say finish the year strong or any of the other super power words.

Right now, I believe it’s really a matter of simply finishing the year, crossing the finish line, however we can, into 2021. It’s matter of taking these next seven weeks to do what’s necessary to make it to the finish line. Everyone won’t start a business, and that’s OK. Everyone won’t write the book, and that’s OK. Someone will lean into the courage to get out of bed, after being down, and that’s OK. Someone will release hurt and receive healing through a much-needed crying session, and that’s OK. Someone will finally make that call to begin therapy, and that’s OK. Someone will take the time to be still because they’ve been going nonstop, and that’s OK.

Stillness is what I’d call a first cousin of rest. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” The beauty of this text is if we remove the middle portion about being weary and burdened, the text would still be relevant. Jesus simply wants us to come, so that we can receive rest.

That’s one thing we can all do in these next seven weeks — rest. 

It’s almost a foreign word. We hear it. We see it. But how many of us really get it? 

Jesus lets us know it’s available. The question is will we allow ourselves the opportunity to lean into our humanity to accept it? Will we lay down those burdens, expectations and all the other weight we carry, so that we can get some rest?

Taking advantage of such an offer will never be a bad idea. Rest will allow our hearts, minds, attitudes, etc. the chance to reset. Rest will allow us the chance to relax and just be. We need it, whether we admit to it or not.

I say again, 2020 has indeed been a year. As a result, we have the right to take rest in these last few weeks, so we can be ready for 2021 with renewed hope and expectation.

Rest is waiting for you. It’s yours for the taking.

Rae Karim, formerly chapel director at Christian Theological Seminary, is now pastor at First Christian Church of Honolulu. She can be reached at pastoraefcc@gmail.com.

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